Salterforth homes plan is turned down

Pendle Council's Development Management Committee was concerned about highway safety on this stretch of Earby Road in Salterforth adjacent to the site where there was an application for 34 homes

Pendle Council's Development Management Committee was concerned about highway safety on this stretch of Earby Road in Salterforth adjacent to the site where there was an application for 34 homes

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An application for 34 homes in Salterforth has been rejected by councillors for its “grossly unsafe” impact on highway safety.

Pendle Council’s Development Management Committee were considering Cross Construction’s outline application for homes on the green field site off Earby Road above the Northolme Estate.

Although considering only the access at its meeting on Monday night, the committee rejected the plan “because of its severe detrimental impact on road safety which would significantly and demonstrably outweigh the benefits”.

It had been rejected by Pendle Council’s West Craven Committee on grounds that there was no safe pedestrian access to and from the site and the fact that Salterforth had already exceeded its 10% of properties required for housing development.

In total, there were 16 objections to the application and Monday night’s meeting heard from a number of residents of nearby Kenilworth Drive and Warwick Drive. Councillors were also presented with a 144 signature petition.

They highlighted several issues, most notably about the narrowness and poor visibility of the road, over-development of Salterforth, flooding issues they felt the development would cause in Earby and the fatalities on Earby Road down the years.

Alan Kinder, speaking on behalf of the applicants, said the planning officer’s report, which recommended approval, was comprehensive in dealing with the pertinent issues.

He said amended plans had improved the footway width and that while in Salterforth parish, it was logically a geographical extension of Earby.

On flooding, Mr Kinder said there was no objection from the flood authority and an attenuation scheme could be put in at the reserved matters stage of the application.

However, it did not wash with councillors. Coun. Mike Goulthorp said: “That footpath wouldn’t take me let alone a pram and toddler.

“There is still 15 metres where parents are going to find it extremely difficult to walk safely out of that development.”

Coun. James Starkie said: “I think that the scheme presented is poor. I would be happy to reject it straight away. It is not good enough.”

Coun. David Whipp told the meeting that when buses meet cars on a bad bend next to the site, they have to come to a dead stop because there is not the space to pass.

He moved to reject the plan and said that while the length of inadequate width path had been reduced from 32 metres to 15 metres, there was still a 50ft. stretch which was still deficient.

He said: “It’s grossly unsafe. We have a demonstrable record of fatalities there and we should not be adding to them.

“I think people’s lives outweigh all these issues.”

The motion to refuse the application was backed by Coun. Eileen Ansar who said what Coun. Whipp said was “basically very true” and that it would have “a major impact” on road safety. The motion was passed 9-2.